28 January 2007

bookclub: song of solomon

one of the things i've wanted to start, but havent found any co-conspiracers for is a book club. my concept would be a group of 12 people who each select their favorite book. they then get the adress of the next person on the list, and send that person their book on the first of the month. each person sends the book they recieved on at the start of each new month, until they have their own book back. well, until i get that rolling, i'll just post occasionally about the books i read and whether or not i find them worth your time. and, if you are a reader, please feel free to comment and give me your book tips, or impressions on the same books.

as you can see in the photo, song of solomon is not the book between ecclesiasties and isaiah, but rather a book by toni morrison. if you dont know who she is, its your loss, and i recommend you go out and read the first book of hers that falls into your hands. she is a nobel prize winner, and i am not one to argue with that- she is definately one of my favorite authors.

ok, that said.. beware. she does tend to be a bit graphic sometimes. the use of her language and imagery is justified, though, as it adds the character and weight that the topics she deals with need.

this particular book wasn't my favorite of hers (so far, love is my favorite) but a close second, and it tops the rest of the books i read last year. i'm not a literature guru, but i was raised on good literature and tend to read the university lit class material in my spare time..

the story is about the grandson of an ex-slave and his family, social and racial divides, love and friendship. but truly, at the core of it all, it is a story about identity.

the harry situation 2

today we met with harry after the service to talk about him moving in to the hope house. the conversation went well enough to a point...
then harry brought up an issue that he should of talked to me about privatly first. i was a bit shocked, because i hadnt known there was a problem, and he suddenly brought it up in front of everyone like that, as if i was deliberatly being mean. the problem, in and of itself, wasnt a big deal: it was about a pillow fight. but the thing that got under my skin, is that he didnt come to me first, or say something at the time, but rather waited a few days and made a big deal out of it at the meeting.
so we cleared that up as well as could be, and went on to pray about the situation. i didnt have any specific thoughts, but lilly and moerssl both seemed concerned afterwards, and are pleading to not take him in.

we are still in alot of stress about someone to take lillys room, too, and time is running out. please pray!! we currently have no perspectives..

24 January 2007

God in art: this is not a sermon

i've started a new series at street group, and i plan to blog about it as well. the series is about using art as a bridge to discussion about God and theology. so.. here is the first entry.

rene magritte's piece (shown above) claims "this is not a pipe." i assume most people have been confronted with this piece at some point, which is one of the reasons i chose to start with it. i really like it. magritte is the kind of person i could imagine going out for a coffee with and having a great time while simultaneously embarassing those with us.

to this piece he said, "a picture is not to be confused with something one can touch. can you stuff my pipe? of course not! it is only a representation. had i written on my picture 'this is a pipe,' i would have been lying." (translation by cate)

how does this bring me back to theology? the things that we see and think to know and understand, are only a fracture of the whole truth. as in the painting only a flat representation of a pipe is shown, we see only one dimension of Gods creation. 1 corinthians 13:9-12 says, "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

feel free to comment.. i'm sure there are other things this painting brings to mind..

21 January 2007


  • thanks for your help mike
  • 20 January 2007

    moral theology

    i want to let y'all in on a bit of the theological discussion i have been having with myself and with other bloggers. i'd apreciate to hear responces to this topic and maybe get a discussion going. and to this purpose, i will only write an introduction tonight. (well, that and its 4:15am..)

    the conversation started with a post on storchs blog (i would link it, but its in german). talking about "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." all right.. the issue didnt captivate me so much. i flipped it around a bit and got a discussion started. and so here the topic, which i present:

    consider a person who lives a moral life (i am purposely shying away from the terms godly/christian) and does what is generally considered right, yet for the wrong reasons (for example: out of fear or pressure) and against that which is really in their heart to do....

    hmm. now the hard part. i suppose i have to state a question. there are several ways this discussion could go, and i leave the optio open for other directions as well. i'll start the discussion with the question: is there a difference between the person who longs to do what is right, yet fails and the person who has evil in their heart, but restrains himself?

    18 January 2007

    a harry situation

    sorry, thats a really bad pun in the title.

    this week has been a bit stressful, but in a good way. sunday harry asked me if he could start comming to counseling. yeah! so we had a prelim conversation sunday, and then he came on monday. it was a great time. we were able to talk, read in the bible, and laugh. harry started comming to street group right before christmas, and now sundays as well. he's a hip-hopper and lives in a monitored-living apartment. mostly he struggles with pot, he kicked the hard drugs already. and he is seeking. he has the begings of a relationship with God already. and now, he is looking into a christian therepy! tuesday we mat again, but only shortly. and today he called and needed to come by. his family is going through some hard times, so i said sure. his sisters divorce went through today, with matze, another guy i work with. there was somefighting back and forth and harsh stuff was said. now its a bit difficult to maintain the professional aspect, because i meet with two "opposing" sides.. and matze is also a friend. i think it went alright though, and so i will see to matze on the weekend.

    in other news, our women's bible study is reading "captivating" by john and stasi eldredge. its written in that typical american christian style that i generally avoid, but it also raises interesting points for discussion. so tonights meeting was quite cool. i'd recomend the book for womens groups (but not to just read personally..).

    and in even more other news, kelly and lilly (two of my closest friends) are getting married in april, and i will be in dallas to be there. (its very hard for the maid of honor to skip the ceremony...) so i hope i see alot of people then and can share more about what's going on here!

    yet more news: we still need someone to take lillys room! pray!!

    13 January 2007

    reaching for the pills

    as some of you may have noticed, i have been struggling with a sleeping disorder for awhile now. it's made it easy to stay in contact with yall on the other side of the world, in chats and calls, but not easy to be productive here. especially since i have to wake up either way.. this past week i was really no more good to anyone, i might as well have slept all day. but, seeing as how i want to live in this time zone, i went out today and got some sleeping pills. pray they work! (and don't worry, gram, they are herbal)

    12 January 2007


    insamnia strikes again! thus, y'all get the joy of a new blog-game being passed around. feel free to steal the idea..

    1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
    2. Put it on shuffle
    3. Press play
    4. For every scene, type the song that’s playing
    5. When you go to a new scene, press the next button
    6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool - first songs only

    Opening Credits:
    "ti si meni sve"- seekers (ska aus croatian)

    Waking Up:
    "fall on you"- newsboys

    First Day at School:
    "who i am"- third day

    Falling in Love:
    "burn for you"- toby mac

    Fight Song:
    mark 9- Bibel reading.. uhm, i'll go on to a song..
    "round here"- counting crowes

    Breaking Up:
    "taty"- matisyahu

    "we have forgotten"- sixpence none the richer
    (works well- i didnt go to prom!)

    Life is Good:
    "face"- damien rice

    Mental Breakdown:
    "don't wait"- dashboard confessional

    "barely legal"- the strokes

    "my weakness"- moby

    Getting Back Together:
    "if you were in my movie"- from ????

    "amazing grace"- ladysmith black mambazo

    Paying the Dues:
    "fireman hurley"- mike watt

    The Night Before The War:
    "halo"- benjamin gate

    Final Battle:
    "inside"- moby

    Moment of Triumph:
    "if you can't leave it, might as well make it bleed"- dashboard confessional

    Death Scene:
    "cry for love"- michael w smith

    Funeral Song:
    "several ways to die trying"- dashboard confessional

    End Credits:
    "can't find the time to tell you"- hootie and the blowfish

    08 January 2007

    on a walz

    just like every friday, i was working in cafe chance. it was a rather difficult evening, despite double the normal volunteers. and i was tired and felt like going home. i had just passed out coffee, and turned to see.. two carpenters in traditional clothes. my first thought, "cool.. carpenters." then, after looking up, "TOMMY!!"

    first a short explanation of "on the walz"... it means that they are traveling in the traditional style for three years and one day, taking up work under different master carpenters. they wear the traditional carpenters clothes and carry their belongings wrapped in bandanas. they aren't allowed to go within 50km of their homes durring this entire time. due to the outfits (very spiffy ones) they are also highly recognizable. thus, at my eye level i could see they were travelling carpenters, which i find cool enough due to several friendships, and yet had to look up to see it was actually my friend.

    tommy is the one next to me, of course.. the other guy, manuel, i just met. tommy was at freakstock, and there's a rather unique story of how we met and he ended up also comming on convoy. they left me to work and came back later to pick me up. we sent manuel home with my laptop, and headed off to cafe engel ("angel cafe") to chat. it was awesome to be able to pick up the friendship without any aukwardness. we talked until the cows came home.. on saturday we did alot of relaxing and tommy cooked. at night the three of us went out to the irish pub, heard live music and enjoyed the masses of interesting people. it was nice to just get out.. i rarely go anywhere not associated with work.

    another cool thing, tommy's friend is also a christian. that's rare amongst traveling carpenters.. about 1%. so they came with me to church on sunday, and were glad to have the chance. as it is, they had to head off already this morning, so after sleeping less than desireable amounts all weekend, we got up before the sun and said goodbye. well.. two of us did. tommy needed some help, and the sun ended up beating him, despite coffee on bed. the parting was full of sweet sorrow, but also full of hope- they will probably head back this way in a week or so. :-D

    04 January 2007

    cat sitter

    with lilly and moerssl gone for the holidays, hans took care of their cat..

    01 January 2007

    fortune cookie

    no, i am not going to post some sappy two line chineese saying. and i am not going to make resolutions. but i think it is important, when looking back at the year behind, to also look forward. so i am taking a little time now to share what i would like to see happen in the next year.

    hope house:

    that we be able to take in at least four people. that doesn't sound like alot, but we have alot of changes comming this year, with lilly and corcken both moving out, and kai being an aditional house member for a limited time.
    that we will finally finish the needed renovations in the guest apartment, prayer room, bath, and kitchen.
    that we will be able to find supporters for the house project in prayer, time commitments, and financially.
    that the possibility of starting an organization to manage the house be looked into and either put into action or decided against.

    i would like to preach more often and in more venues, and continue to find my style. last year i preached at the freaks in bremen, on the street in cottbus, and in cafe chance. i tryed several inovative styles and have decided that i like creative sermons that involve participation from the audience.
    i would like to produce at least two films for television/ festivals; moreover, at least six short films for the jesus freaks services.
    i would like to finally make it to london to visit the glorious undead church, to amsterdam to visit the ywam base there (out of which the jesus freaks were born), and back to brussels to see jim and anne mills (a very special missionary couple). since the cheap airlines of europe is moving its hub to bremen, these trips will also cost less than a ticket from here to kassel!
    i'd like to start the theology courses that i got from a seminary. i have the audio from the actuall lectures, as well as the notes and book list. and as far as possible, i would like to do these studies. (they don't offer all courses over the internet, so i can't get a degree, but they do offer enough to keep me busy awhile!)
    i would like to actually lead someone to christ, and see the fruit of it. usually, i plant seed. i water it. i very, very rarely get to see the person actually make that decision. and i know there are people who have made the decision based on things i planted, but i so rarely hear about it. it would be encourageing to be there for it.
    that the pressing issue be settled and that things can finally move on, in one direction or the other... and that i am ok with it.

    and here's a bonus.. it isnt for me, but its the thing i am praying for the most...
    that hans will finally make it this year through the detox and therepy.